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FRA Research

FRA Research

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FRA Research

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  1. FRA Research Fundamental Rights of children in the context of migrationin EU (Separated, asylum seeking children and children in irregular situation) Georgia Dimitropoulou

  2. FRA’s Mandate: Council Reg. 168/2007 15 Feb 2007 • Article 2 – Objective: WHAT? • Provide institutions, bodies, offices, and agencies of EU and its MSs with “assistance and expertise” in order to support them to “fully respect fundamental rights” • Article 3 – Scope: WHERE? • Within Community law as laid down in Treaty on the Functioning of the EU • Fundamental rights as defined in Article 6(2) TEU • In EU and its MS where they are implementing EU law • Article 4 – Tasks: HOW? • Collection and analysis of comparable data • Reports, conclusions, opinions • Promotion of dialogue with civil society organizations and raising awareness of fundamental rights

  3. MAF: Multi-annual Framework (2013-2017) 9 Thematic Areas The Rights of the Child Immigration and integration of migrants , visa and border control , and asylum Access to justice Discrimination based on all grounds, including multiple discrimination Racism , xenophobia and related intolerance Victims of crime, including compensation to victims Information society and, in particular, respect for private life and protection of personal data Roma integration Judicial cooperation, except in criminal matters

  4. Children on the move «Children on the move is an umbrella definition for persons under the age of 18 who have left their place of habitual residence and are either on the way towards a new destination, or have already reached such destination. Children can move across State borders or within countries and their movement can be of a seasonal or more permanent nature. Movement of children can be voluntary or forced; they can be accompaniedby parents, peers or others, or not, and can be children who are, for example: internally displaced persons, asylum seekers and refugees, immigrants or trafficked persons» Global Movements for Children,International conference :”Protecting and supporting children on the move” executive summary, October 2010, Barcelona

  5. FRA’s research • Child trafficking in EU, challenges perspectives and good practices ( 2009) • Separared, asylum seeking children in EU (2010) • Fundamental Rights of irregular immigrants in EU (2011) • On going research on the situation in the borders of EU ( see , airport zones, land) Report: «Fundamental rights at Europe's southern sea boarders» published by FRA in 2013

  6. Research Findings on Fundamental Rights • Access to Housing – Appropriate accomodation • Access to Health • Acess to Education • Detention of children as measure of the last resort

  7. Access to HOUSING – adequate ACCOMODATION Punishment for renting shelter to irregular migrants Landlords who rent a flat to migrants in an irregular situation are punished, Migrants ( including children- accompanied or not) will have difficulties in finding a place to stay and may end up in exploitative housing conditions- homeless

  8. Accomodation of separated children provided by state Initial Reception Centres(unsatisfactory living conditions, lack of quality standards) Types of accomodation: Negative: detention facilities, closed accommodation facilities, hotels and hostels, mixed housing of children and unrelated adults Positive: small-scale preferred to large scale, foster care and semi-autonomous living preferred for younger children and children over 16 respectively

  9. Accomodationof separated children provided by state • Overcrowding – lack of privacy • Inadequate sanitary conditions • Lack or limited access to Leisure Activities • Cultural aspects are neglected not taken into consideration (i.e. food, religion ) • Isolated Location

  10. • Access to healthcare for children and their families P€ Dark green: All family members entitled to healthcare beyond emergency care Medium green: Only children have access to healthcare beyond emergency care Light green: Access to healthcare for children beyond emergency care under certain conditions.Orange: Children and their families entitled only to emergency healthcare.

  11. Acess to health for children and families in irregular situation

  12. HealthCare. Problems identified • Lack of adequate medical screening and health assessment upon arrival in some MS or no assessment at all • Cases of denial of specialist medical treatment • Need for better psychological support • Interpretation often not adequate • Some girls noted they would prefer female doctors, but this wish could not always be accommodated

  13. Access to education for undocumented children - national legislation

  14. Access education

  15. Education • In most MS efforts to place children in main stream education(althgouth for children placed in large accommodation centers this often not the case) • Difficulties in mainstream school enrolment frequent • In some reception centers education mainly consisting of language courses, and children asking for more hours • Lack of sufficient and child-friendly information about educational options • Limited acess to vocational training

  16. Detention“..shall be used only as a measure of last resort, for the shortest appropriate period of time…”(CRC, Article 37 ) • Children are frequently detained while awaiting age assessment procedure, waiting for accommodation arrangements , in the context of return ( alone all with family members-accompanying persons) • Length of detention varies from couple of days to several months • In some MS children systematically detained upon arrival until their age is established while guardians and/or legal representatives are appointed only after the age assessment

  17. Detention • No legal advice or any form of counselling is available during detention • No information is provided by authorities during detention • - Not easy for children to understand why they are ‘locked up’ if they have not committed a crime • Detained conditions very frequently are not adequate • - Children are detained , in many occasions , along with adults • - In some MS children claimed they had experienced verbal and physical abuse during detention

  18. Detention Detention of children – Return Directive Children detained as a measure of last resort and shortest appropriate time (Art. 17) Primary consideration to the best interest of the child (Recital 22) → Use of alternatives for detention of families → If detention of parents to secure removal is necessary, the child’s best interest should decide; but under no circumstance accommodation with adults

  19. Detention ConsiderationsDetention Children should never being detained for reasons related to their residence status , or their lack of it or their conditions of their entry into an EU Member State Principle of best interest should always be taken into consideration When detention applies, then should be under same conditions and safeguards as for children having citizenship of the state

  20. Alternatives in national legislation, EU 27 FRA 2010

  21. Detention Alternatives to detention are: Obligation to surrender passport or travel documents Residence restrictions Release on bail and provision of sureties by third parties Regular reporting requirements to the authorities Release to case worker support Electronic monitoring

  22. Considerations – Access to rightsPolicing public service providers impede access to fundamental rights Systematic apprehension of migrants in an irregular situation at or near service providers Service providers’ obligation to report migrants with suspected legal status to authorities Data exchange between service providers and immigration and other authorities; practices vary

  23. Practical guidance – “dos and don’ts”: “Apprehension of migrants in an irregular situation –fundamental rights considerations” Irregular migrants should not be apprehended at or near to schools, hospitals,religious establishments ,civil registries and should be able to report crime to the police Data exchanges between these and immigration law enforcement authorities should not be required and reporting duties should be removed Other interests than fundamental rights: Public health, crime prevention, promotion of voluntary return Birth registration of children should be allowed – issue of birth certification

  24. Considerations HousingThe implementation of the Facilitation Directive • The directive provides for the possibility not to sanction humanitarian action – Member States should consider renting accommodation to migrants in an irregular situation as humanitarian assistance (Article 2) and not as facilitation of irregular stay!

  25. Considerations Separated children • Prompt appointment of legal guardian and /or legal representative • Strengthening guardianship systems and legal representation/ legal aid • Adequate Information in a child friendly manner • Adequate accommodation on the basis of an individual need assessment , in accordance with the best interest of the child • Care – quality standards

  26. Considerations Separated children • Health assessment upon arrival /identification • Access to health care , without discrimination / irrespective of their legal status • Access to education ( adequate resources for special educational support -language training) • Acess to vocational trainning • Never detained on the ground of the residence status or lack of it • Monitoring procedures – quality control – complaint mechanisms

  27. Further information : childrights@fra.europa.eu